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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Material Realities and Novel Ideas: The Vibrancy of Place and Ceramic Practices at the Emerald Acropolis
by Barzilai, Rebecca Michelle, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2020, 365; 28091061
Abstract (Summary)

Located at the eastern extent of Greater Cahokia approximately 24 km east of Downtown Cahokia, the Emerald Acropolis sits at the edge of the historic Illinois prairie on an aboriginally sculpted ridge visibly high in the landscape. Defined as a lunar shrine complex where intermittent occupation and activities by local and non-local visitors produce novel ideas, cultural expressions, and material remains, the activities at Emerald have implications for the origins of Greater Cahokia and the larger region. This study looks at the ceramic material practices associated with the ritual activities of the people of Greater Cahokia, the visitors to this religious center, and the ways in which these material practices shifted and changed through these interactions.

My research focuses specifically on the stylistic identification of ceramic types and the geochemical characterization of ceramics from compositional groups of both local and non-local Terminal Late Woodland Period (1000-1050 CE) and Mississippian Period (1050-1300 CE) populations excavated during the Emerald Acropolis Project (2012-2016). Moreover, this study is a holistic ceramic analysis, where ‘holistic’ is defined as ceramic analyses that will include overlapping stylistic, geochemical, and petrographic data that build a picture of the structural and chemical properties of the ceramics so as to elucidate the cultural and ideological properties embodied in their production, use, and discard. This holistic approach is based on a theoretical framework that links Indigenous Native American animist religious practice to the vibrancy of material affects and how these affects and relationships impact/are impacted by human relationships to landscapes and material resources.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Alt, Susan M.
Commitee: Sievert, April K., Elswick, Erika R., King, Stacie M.
School: Indiana University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Fine arts, Geochemistry, Cultural Resources Management, Cultural anthropology
Keywords: Ceramic composition, Ceramic studies, Emerald mounds, Greater Cahokia, Mississippian, Illinois, Landscape, Terminal Late Woodland Period , Emerald Acropolis Project
Publication Number: 28091061
ISBN: 9798672176819
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